PALO, Leyte- The national government opened its Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Knowledge Center in Eastern Visayas in a bid to promote PPP program in the poverty-stricken region.
The information hub, housed at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) regional office here, will answer all PPP-related questions from local government units, state universities and colleges, government-owned and controlled corporations, and private investors.
PPP Center Deputy Executive Director Eleazar Ricote said the growing interest of Manila-based and international companies to invest outside Metro Manila prompted them to set up the knowledge center in the regions.
“You don’t have to go to Manila to strengthen your capabilities to undertake PPPs for your infrastructure and development requirements. This is like your PPP consultation room, answering all your queries related to PPPs,” Ricote said during the center’s opening Tuesday (April 24).
The official clarified that not all PPP ventures are hard infrastructure projects. Some existing PPPs include the construction and operation of public markets, terminals, slaughterhouses, and information technology systems.
The new facility will not only answer queries of government agencies and local government units but private investors as well.
There are also available templates for local government units to come up with PPP Code, feasibility studies, contracts, and other documentary requirements for PPP projects.
NEDA Regional Director Bonifacio Uy welcomed the opening of the PPP Knowledge Center here, the fifth of its kind in the country.
Knowledge corners have been set up in NEDA offices in Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Pampanga, and Butuan City.
“I see the significance of providing PPP technical assistance in every region to sustain economic growth through improved private investments,” Uy said.
The NEDA regional office here is eyeing PPP ventures in agriculture and fisheries, manufacturing, and tourism, the three priority areas under the 2017-2022 Regional Development Plan.
The knowledge center initiative is a partnership between the NEDA and PPP Center as part of the government’s strategy to engage more local implementing agencies to rollout more bankable and viable PPP projects in the countryside.
Among the benefits cited for PPPs are proper alignment of incentives, allocation of risk to party who can best manage that risk, tapping private partner’s innovation and expertise, revenue sharing, and addressing implementing agencies’ limited absorptive capacity and government’s limited fiscal space.
PPP Center, which was created through an Executive Order in 2010, serves as the central coordinating and monitoring agency for all PPP projects in the country.
The Center manages a USD102-million revolving fund that gives implementing agencies access to a panel of consulting firms tasked to provide advisory support and multi-disciplinary expertise.